Middle East

German migrant rescue ship renamed after tragic toddler

A German migrant rescue ship which operates in the Mediterranean was renamed on Feb. 10 after Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian refugee boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach at the height of the… Palma Hurriyet Alan’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, and aunt, Tima Kurdi, attended the renaming ceremony held in Palma on Spain’s Balearic Island of Mallorca. The event was organized by German charity Sea-Eye which operates the… “We are happy that a German rescue ship will carry the name of our boy. My boy on ... Read More »

Hakeem al-Araibi to return to Australia after Thai court rules extradition case be dropped

A Thai court has ruled that an extradition case against Melbourne-based refugee Hakeem al-Araibi be dropped, with the footballer to return to Australia tonight. ABC The director-general of international affairs for the Thai Government confirmed to the ABC that the Attorney-General requested the case for Mr al-Araibi’s extradition to Bahrain be dropped. The 25-year-old was detained in Bangkok more than two months ago for alleged vandalism offences in his native Bahrain. A Bahraini court sentenced him in absentia to 10 years ... Read More »

Mitigating Risks for Syrian Refugee Youth in Turkey’s Şanlıurfa

Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, half of whom are under eighteen. Despite European aid, tensions are rising as the country strains to accommodate the influx. ICG The answer is smarter integration policies aimed particularly at meeting the needs of vulnerable youth. What’s new? A generation of young Syrians in Turkey is not receiving the support it needs to integrate successfully into Turkish society. Exposure to discrimination and exploitation, unaddressed psycho-social trauma, and lagging support for skill acquisition and… Mitigating ... Read More »

Mitigating Risks for Syrian Refugee Youth in Turkey’s Şanlıurfa

Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, half of whom are under eighteen. Despite European aid, tensions are rising as the country strains to accommodate the influx. ICG The answer is smarter integration policies aimed particularly at meeting the needs of vulnerable youth. What’s new? A generation of young Syrians in Turkey is not receiving the support it needs to integrate successfully into Turkish society. Exposure to discrimination and exploitation, unaddressed psycho-social trauma, and lagging support for skill acquisition and… Mitigating ... Read More »

Sajid Javid accused of evading questions about suspects facing death penalty

Home secretary delayed to answer questions by Caroline Lucas about fate of British citizens allegedly part of Isis cell Owen Bowcott The Guardian A senior Conservative MP has reprimanded the home secretary, Sajid Javid, for failing to answer parliamentary questions about the government exposing British citizens to the death penalty overseas. Charles Walker, chair of the Commons procedure committee, wrote to Javid describing his failure to respond to written queries from the Green MP Caroline Lucas as an “unacceptable discourtesy to a fellow ... Read More »

Cave diving heroes call for Hakeem Al-Araibi’s release from Thai prison

The cave divers who rescued a Thai football team have written to Thailand’s prime minster asking him to free refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi from prison. SBS AAP Cave diving heroes and Australians of the Year Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen have joined the campaign to save refugee footballer Hakeem-al Araibi, writing to the prime minister of… According to the ABC a letter was sent a few days ago to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asking him to consider freeing ... Read More »

Why does Turkey see the US as the greatest threat to their country?

Since 1952 (the date of Turkey’s entry into NATO), Turkey has been an official ally of the United States. However, Washington’s unyielding egocentrism and tendency to turn violent has led the country (and many others around the… Nurettin Kurt United World Since the 60s, innumerable crises have occurred in Turkish-American relations. Regardless of whether or not the perception is completely accurate, how Ankara’s ally became widely recognized as an arch-foe is a crucial topic. The United States has been on ... Read More »

The future of arms control is global: Reconsidering nuclear issues in the Indo-Pacific

On Feb. 1, a reporter asked President Donald Trump if the announced U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was as much about the Western Pacific as it was about Russia. Andy Weber and Christine Parthemore War on the Rocks In response, Trump affirmed his view that for the arms control pact to work, more countries would need to be added: “I hope that you’re able to get everybody in a big and beautiful room and do a new ... Read More »

Mysterious Turkish Firm Helped Maduro Move $900 Million in Gold

Two months after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, a mysterious company called Sardes sprang into existence. Bloomberg The firm started business with a bang in January of 2018, when it imported about $41 million worth of gold from Venezuela, the first such transaction between the two countries in records that go back 50 years. The next month its volume more than doubled, with Sardes transporting almost $100 million worth to Turkey. By November, ... Read More »

A Sovereign Democracy and a Dud Partner: Explaining the Slide in U.S.-Turkey Relations

What’s wrong with U.S.-Turkey relations? For over a decade, ties between the United States and its NATO ally have been a rollercoaster ride, leading some in the United States to conclude that Turkey has either lost or is losing its value as a strategic partner. Nadir Firat War on the Rocks Observers have offered various explanations for the tensions, including Aykan Erdemir and Merve Tahiroglu in War on the Rocks and Steve Cook, who gave a long list of disheartening reasons… ... Read More »

Forget Those F-35s and Nukes: Is Iran’s Military Stronger Than Israel’s?

Israeli media is abuzz over a website that ranks the world’s armies—and placed Iran above Israel. Michael Peck The National Interest Is Iran’s military stronger than Israel’s? Israeli media is abuzz over a website that ranks the world’s armies—and placed Iran above Israel. Iran’s armed forces ranked thirteenth in the world, according to GlobalFirepower.com’s 2018 rankings, which apparently combined various statistics to assemble a composite military power rating (0.3131 for Iran, with 0.00 being a perfect score). Israel ranked sixteenth, ... Read More »

The Saudi women activists still being ‘tortured’ months after driving ban ended

In June last year, Saudi Arabia finally gave women the right to drive, but the most well-known figure behind the campaign to end the ban wasn’t there to celebrate. Maani Truu SBS Loujain al-Hathloul’s Twitter has been inactive since 12 March 2018. The Saudi women’s rights activist was once a prolific tweeter with 307,000 followers and is reportedly a friend of the Duchess of Sussex. Her feed is a record of causes she was passionate about, most notably, her efforts ... Read More »

Theresa May Is Negotiating Like Yasser Arafat

The late Palestinian leader was legendary for forsaking promising opportunities, caving to extremists, and failing to appreciate the challenges of negotiating against a stronger opponent. Britain’s prime minister has perfected his diplomatic style. Garvan Walshe FP A few weeks after the 2016 Brexit referendum I got chatting with a Palestinian journalist at a wine bar in London. “How did you vote?” I asked, as the conversation turned to the inevitable subject. “Leave,” he said. “Why?” I asked. “Immigration,” he replied. ... Read More »

Numbers of Turkish universities soar, but quality falls

Undergraduate and graduate enrollment has increased spectacularly at Turkey’s universities in recent years. And while the infrastructure has kept pace, the same can’t be said of the quality of education. Metin Gurcan Al-Monitor The number of students and academic capacity has grown tenfold in just the past decade. Going back further, in 1979 there were only 12 universities in Turkey. There are now 203. In 1980, out of 467,000 students who participated in university entrance exams, only 42,000 (9%) were able to enter, whereas ... Read More »

Israel extends intelligence document classification period to 90 years

The government of Israel has increased to 90 years the period during which documents belonging to intelligence and security agencies can remain secret, extending it by 20 years. Josef Fitsanakis IntelNews Until last month, government documents produced by Israeli spy agencies, such as its external spy organization, the Mossad, or its domestic security agency, the Shin Bet, could remain hidden from public view for up to 70 years. Last year, however, the administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commissioned a ... Read More »

France declares day marking ‘Armenian genocide’

France has declared a national day of commemoration to remember the 1915 Armenian genocide. The announcement is set to provoke an angry response from Turkey. DW French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday declared April 24 to be a national day to commemorate the 1915 Armenian genocide. Macron made the statement at an annual dinner of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France, fulfilling a 2017 campaign promise. France was among the first countries to denounce “the murderous hunt of ... Read More »